Fil-American girl among the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre in Florida
By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – Carmen Marie Schentrup would have graduated at the top of her class in May this year. She was a consistent A student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida until that bloody day of February 14, 2018 where she died from four gun shoots that pierced through her body and head. Carmen was in her AP psychology class, the last class for that day, when tragedy struck. She was a national Merit Scholar finalist who planned to become a doctor.
Her grandmother, Florenda ‘Linda’ Rosal Nicoloff, a Filipino residing in Melbourne, FL, recounted how she was heartbroken when her daughter, Carmen’s mother April, told her about the Parkland shooting. On that day, Linda and her husband were celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary.
“My daughter April went to Carmen’s school immediately after hearing the incident. The parents waited for 12 hours in a nearby designated area from the school premises to finally find out about what happened. It was total chaos and my daughter was distraught,” she said in a telephone interview with OSM!. April Schentrup works as a school principal near Carmen’s school.
Rosal-Nicoloff is a native of Zambales and came to the US in 1976. She said that two days prior to the shooting, Carmen had happily called to tell her that she was going to study at the University of Florida in the fall. Carmen had flown to Germany in 2017 to check out its universities.
“She was accepted in many universities but said she was going to settle for the University of Florida so I can visit her,” said the proud grandmother who, like typical immigrant elders, have influenced American born children to imbibe Filipino traditions. Carmen, said her mother April, was also considering to go to the University of Washington.
The middle child of April and Philip Schentrup, she loved pansit and eggroll, as well as older brother Bobby and younger sister Evelyn. The three were raised in a disciplined Filipino way where home works and house chores were sacred duties to be fulfilled.
According to Linda, who took care of her grandchildren, Carmen was a lovely child who was serious in her studies, played violin and piano and regularly did Sunday service as a choir member. She did not have any boyfriend. She was busy at school.
“I cannot believe we’ve lost her. She was a beautiful child. Very respectful and responsible. We will miss her so much.”
Carmen’s funeral service was held on February 20, 2018 at a Catholic Church, a day before her 17th birthday.
Asked how she and Carmen’s family are taking the tragedy, Linda said Carmen’s parents are still unable to talk about it deeply and her two siblings just miss their sister a lot. As for Linda, the tragedy happened because the youth has lost so much respect and are no longer God-fearing. “Nothing stops them from doing bad. And that is just so unfortunate.” (Featured photo is Carmen Marie Schentrup from Google)
Related Link: http://justcliqit.com/filipino-parents-applaud-marchforourlives-marchers/